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OAS Secretary General Inaugurates Latin American Democracy Forum in Mexico

  October 9, 2013

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, today opened the IV Latin American Democracy Forum, whose theme is "Governing the future. Latin American democracy in 2020.”

The fourth edition of the Forum, held at the headquarters of the Colegio de Mexico, has high-level participants including former presidents, senior government officials, political party representatives, academics and representatives of civic organizations and the media, to discuss the challenges of Latin American democracy by 2020 under a comprehensive vision that includes political, social, economic and electoral aspects.

During three days of meetings, panels will bring together information and practical experience on governance in the region, and how to address the strengthening and consolidation of democracy in Latin America from the perspective of the challenges posed by inequality and poverty. The Forum is co-organized by the OAS, Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), the Colegio de México, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

The first keynote address of today will be given by Secretary General Insulza and former Bolivian President Carlos Mesa, and will focus on "Justice, Equality and Liberty. Challenges of Democracy in the Twenty First Century.” The second address will be held on Thursday, and will be given by former President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernandez, who will speak on "Poverty and the crisis of representation: towards greater or lesser social cohesion by 2020?" and the third lecture, which will be presented on Friday, will be given by Vice President of Uruguay, Danilo Astori, who will speak on "the role of politics faced with a crisis in power."

The Latin American Democracy Forum is based on the premise that elections have helped to solve the problem of the legitimacy of those who wield public power. During the fourth edition of the meeting participants look to achieve new ideas and solutions for democracy in 2020 that will translate into a better quality of life for the inhabitants of the region, with a strong emphasis on fighting poverty and inequality in the Hemisphere, which is still considered the world's most unequal region, despite its high level of democratic development.

The Latin American Democracy Forum grew out of a shared concern between the Federal Institute of Mexico (IFE) and the OAS over the lack of a forum for the exchange and discussion of current and future problems of a cyclical and structural nature facing Latin American democracies. Therefore, in 2010, Secretary General Insulza and the IFE President Leonardo Valdés raised the need to create a forum in which they could discuss, share and compare progress made and challenges to democracy with other regions of Latin America and the world, in order to identify common problems and solutions.

The First Latin American Democracy Forum was held in 2010 and was organized by the OAS, the IFE and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In that instance, it focused on the "Second Report on the State of Democracy in Latin America: Our Democracy."

The second version of the Forum was held in 2011, and had the support of International IDEA, as well as the OAS and the IFE. This meeting discussed the report "Money, Politics and Power: a Dilemma for Democracy" (Spanish version) in order to discuss the problem of the influence of money in politics and the relationship of this activity to corruption and transparency.

The third Forum was held in 2012 with the support of the Colegio de México, and focused on "Democracy and crisis of representation: who wins the election, holds the power?," and dealt with analyzing democratic governance and its implications in the areas of citizen participation, transparency, organized crime and corruption.

The live broadcast of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-380/13